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03/14/2013 12:00:00 AM


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Fitzpatrick, Peter

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Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Criminal Justice (Spent Convictions) Bill 2012 [Seanad]: Second Stage (Resumed)

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Senator


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Deputy Peter Fitzpatrick

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Snippet Contents:

The spent convictions Bill provides for non-disclosure of certain convictions where a person has not re-offended for a certain period of time. The Bill is intended to assist people with convictions by removing the requirement that they disclose past convictions when applying for a job. However, there are a number of exceptions to the general rules. For example, convictions for serious offences such as murder, manslaughter and rape, and convictions of sexual offences, may never become spent. Also, convictions resulting in a jail sentence of more than 12 months may not become spent. Furthermore, anyone seeking to work with children or vulnerable adults or in a sensitive position in the civil or public service will have to disclose their convictions. It applies to adults, and provides a non-disclosure regime similar to that applying to children under section 258 of the Children Act 2001.
The Bill applies to prison sentences of 12 months or less, or to lesser penalties such as the imposition of community services or fines. It is self-administered. A person does not need to apply to have a conviction declared spent.
Sexual offences and other serious offences that fall to be tried by the Central Criminal Court are excluded from the purview of the Bill. No more than two convictions during an individual's life may become spent.
The conviction free period that must be served before a conviction will become spent ranges from two years for a small fine to five years for a one year jail sentence. Anyone seeking to work with or provide services, for example, care and accommodation, to children under 18 or vulnerable adults will have to disclose their convictions.
A range of employments, including those relating to the security of the State, the administration of justice and other sensitive positions, are excluded from the provisions of the Bill. Convictions will have to be disclosed when applying for certain licences such as taxi licences, private security licences etc.